– Swiss aid worker kidnapped in Sudan

A Swiss aid worker has been abducted in Sudan’s northern Darfur region, the Swiss authorities have confirmed. Reports say the woman, who has lived for years in the country and collaborated with the United Nations, was taken from her home on Saturday evening.

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TagesAnzeiger – Schweizerin in der Nähe ihrer Wohnung im Sudan entführt

In der westsudanesischen Krisenregion Darfur ist eine Schweizerin entführt worden. Dies teilten das Schweizer Aussenministerium und eine UN-Verantwortliche im Sudan am Sonntag mit. Es soll sich um eine Entwicklungshelferin handeln.

Die Schweizerin habe seit vielen Jahren im Sudan gelebt und sei am Samstagabend in der Nähe ihrer Wohnung im Norden Darfurs entführt worden, sagte die UN-Koordinatorin für humanitäre Angelegenheiten, Marta Ruedas. Die Frau arbeite nicht direkt für die Vereinten Nationen, aber bei vielen Gelegenheiten mit ihnen zusammen.

Die Regierung in Khartum machte keine Angaben zu dem Fall. Laut Berichten in sozialen Medien arbeitet die Frau für eine Schweizer Nichtregierungsorganisation, die sich um Kinder in Darfur kümmert.

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OECD – Human Resource Management in States affected by Fragility and Conflict : Human Resource Development Policy Papers No.2


This study on Human Resource Management (HRM) in States Affected by Fragility and/or Conflict has been produced by the INCAF Secretariat in response to a request made by the INCAF Task Team on Implementation and Reform during its meetings of 25-26 March 2014.

The purpose of this publication is to:

  • provide a shared understanding of HRM issues to policy makers and practitioners involved in states affected by fragility and/or conflict (SFC)
  • outline a set of common challenges faced by INCAF members in relation to HRM in SFC
  • serve as a peer-learning tool by sharing ideas and experiences on innovative practices and reforms among members of the OECD/DAC’s International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF), or from other organisations working in SFC.

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CHRnet – Staff Management and Conflict sensitive Human Resources Policies

Conflict sensitive Human Resources Policies and Staff Management are key particularly for working in fragile and conflict affected situations (FCS) since staff has an impact on the context and the context has an impact on staff. The elements of workforce diversity and psychosocial support should be taken into consideration for a conflict sensitive staff management. In addition, the SCO’s should invest in capacity building and knowledge transfer, especially in FCS that are characterized by high staff turnover.

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aljazeera – Why do some UN peacekeepers rape?

[Illustration by Jawahir Al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera examines the accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation against the UN.

UN peacekeepers are sent to the most war-ravaged countries on Earth, ostensibly to help them transition to peace.

But some stand accused of committing crimes against the very people they are supposed to protect.

According to a recent investigation by the Associated Press (AP), between 2004 and 2016, the United Nations received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its peacekeepers.

The UN says it has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, but survivors, activists, lawyers and human rights organisations say such crimes have been allowed to continue with impunity.

Through conversations with UN peacekeepers and officials, gender experts, academics, researchers and activists, as well as through an investigation of UN data, in this four-part series, we try to navigate these competing accounts to answer the question: How did some peacekeepers become predators?

In part one, we examine the history of accusations against the UN.

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devex – What could emojis bring to disaster response?

“Right now a lot of the emergency response tools that are being developed are happening in a siloed way,” said Sara Dean, an architect and designer who previously worked on a web-based platform called Peta Jakarta, which gathered, sorted and displayed information on flooding in real time.

“One of the advantages that we’ve found in social media is — even though it’s an untamed, noisy type of communication — it’s also a place where people are listening. And so they don’t need to know that an emergency is going to happen; they could even be very unprepared. But when you want to get their attention, you can get it because they’re already there.”

As climate change drives more frequent extreme weather emergencies, emojis can offer some advantages over the written word. They are the closest thing we have to a global language, Dean said, explaining that the way in which these icons are available and used globally equips them with the potential to inform disaster response and enable a global conversation about climate.

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KM4Dev – June 2017 contributions summary

Below (and attached) you can find a summary of activity of the group for the month of June.

Best regards, Sophie Alvarez

The latest June topic was the one on Communities of Practice, 10 years later. It started with a question about whether there were any fundamentally new insights, methods, approaches when it comes to CoPs ten years later. Some proposed that nothing fundamental has changed- yet everything is different. The main difference is the new ICT- Social Media and other technical developments, however, “an effective COP is a socially emergent group in which people feel included and confident to share ideas…their value is partially in being a think tank and a repository of tacit knowledge and insights…and to co-create together to adapt their collective experiences and knowledge…” Another dilemma discussed was about whether COPs should be „free“ of institutional trappings, and whether “corporate” or more “structured” COPs can be effective. The conversation continues, acknowledging the complementarity and diversity of different forms of CoPs.

Another conversation was about the pros and cons of mainstreaming KM into organizations or institutions. The question came up while discussing the forthcoming Learning from Invisible CoPs: The role of informal actors and relationships in African food systems- KM4Dev 2017 Harare event 25-26 July. One of the contributors finds it useful to distinguish personal KM, organizational KM and societal KM. The latter one is the Knowledge Sharing Society (KSS), whose functions include awareness raising and training and education in IM and KS, and a more ambitious, society wide mainstreaming. Others propose nurturing both mainstreaming and dedicated approaches, also KM at project level and efforts at strategic program levels. Mainstreaming should mean awareness and a culture of sharing and incentives, not a forced implementation of KS. In the same vein, “embedding” rather than mainstreaming was suggested, since by embedding, KM becomes a part of how things are done rather than a distinct activity with its own staff.

One of our colleagues, in trying to put together a staff directory for her department, asked for advice for having a web-based directory with basic information from each staff member, their picture, bio, position, and areas of knowledge/skills/languages (tick boxes), all searchable. It was suggested that she include areas/skills interested in learning, for future peer learning or other learning/human resource development events. Some of the ideas for setting up the directory were:

  • Awesome Table to create a web based, searchable people directory, with Google Forms to collect data – or for users to update their existing profiles.
  • The Drupal Commons People Directory, which includes the ability to follow people, Facebook-style status updates, etc. and the full flexibility of Drupal.
  • BuddyPress (based on WordPress).
  • Linked In Lookup , most of the content is already there, it’s just a question of creating the team. The platform is high tech and powerful, and people have an incentive to keep their profile up to date.

A few participants shared their experience and information on using WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, Signal, or other messaging apps in projects. Two shared information resources: one around the benefits of using whatsapp (in the context of working with large groups), and a report on how humanitarian organisations are using ten of the most popular messaging apps, with case studies, comparisons of technical specifications, and a section on information security. Others narrate their experiences and ideas, like that the most powerful thing happens when participants pick platforms to use and do the things that need doing from their perspective, that having a WhatsApp group can be transformational, and since many have access already to the technology, Whatsapp is a convenient platform.

What are the emerging trends in knowledge management 2017 that will influence, guide and support our work? A member asked the community for summaries, links, hints, or thoughts to share. Some of the resources shared were:

Some trends mentioned:

  • M&E of KM strategies and activities
  • Moving further away from ‘KM’ as a field unto its own (and rather dipping further into innovation, social learning, engagement, big data, AI etc.)
  • The backlash on the social web
  • More and more emphasis on storytelling, as high quality human filtering approach
  • Driving towards the combination of ultra-sophisticated data grinding on the one hand and human facilitation on the other hand

We had the KM4Dev Online Open Space, for a full report and updates visit the link. Only some of the sessions were reported on here:  Euforic´s offering of the first KM4Dev Online Open Space, and KM4Dev in Berlin.

On the thread of Measuring KM – GHKC M&E Case Example Series, the USAID’s flagship knowledge management project, Knowledge for Health (K4Health), has developed a specific process that can help health and development practitioners implement KM from start to finish. Sharing some publicly available KM strategies at the organizational and project level:

Some other resources shared in different threads:

Discover the new IAF Methods Database: Don’t take our word for it – try it out for yourself

ISKO SG – Governance Extravaganza! Enjoy this collection of videos and writings around KM and KO governance.

The age of thoughtlessness, playing God in the lab, and photography as activism at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Knowledge as a banyan tree, how bullying in hospitals harms patients, and Harlem’s synchronised swimming team for seniors

Vacancy: Knowledge management consultant, Child Marriage, UNICEF

Events shared:

Invitation: 37th Lausanne SKMF Roundtable, June 22, 2017

Offer of the online SALT programme for facilitation, community engagement and participatory evaluation

11th Conference Community Based Adaptation (CBA11) on Climate Change

Webinar on Foresight in Agriculture: Who is involved in „foresight“?

ISKO-UK conference „Knowledge organisation: what’s the story?“


GCSP – Newsletter (July 2017)

Rejoignez-nous afin de  construire une communauté virtuelle de praticiens en matière de prévention de l’extrémisme violent (PEV). Nous pourrons ainsi  partager les bonnes pratiques , identifier les synergies et informer sur le travail académique et les activités en cours et à venir dans ce domaine, afin de construire des solutions durables pour le futur.

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ICRC – ‚Supersoldiers‘ : Ethical concern in human enhancement technologies

‘Supersoldiers’: Ethical concerns in human enhancement technologies

Modern technologies that actively seek to combine bio, nano, info and neuro elements can give us the ability to ‘enhance’ human beings in ways that we want. This ability – to make soldiers more capable of defeating their enemies and/or surviving the perils of conflict – is of great interest to militaries throughout the world.

However, enhancement in the military context can have direct impacts on when and how one decides to apply potentially lethal violence. The unwanted effects in this case are not merely side-effects: they demand primary consideration. Decisions made during war are literally matters of life and death, and any enhancement to moral decision-making in warfare would surely be a welcome development. But, if any cognitive enhancement technology were to undermine the capacity of a subject to follow the law of armed conflict, it would be a source of very serious concern indeed.

Research into cognitive enhancement must take seriously any possibility or sign of an increase in rates of aggression, apathy and depression. Moreover, this research is required throughout the lifecycle of the technology, from laboratory to clinic to application in actual conflict.

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BaslerZeitung – Bereits zum zweiten Mal von Al-Kaida entführt – die Basler Missionarin Beatrice S.

Der Ableger der Al-Kaida in Mali hat ein Video von sechs ausländischen Geiseln – darunter die Basler Missionarin Beatrice S. Das teilte die SITE Intelligence Group mit, eine auf die Überwachung islamistischer Websites spezialisierte US-Organisation.

Das Eidg. Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten (EDA) hat Kenntnis von dem Video, wie es am Samstag auf Anfrage mitteilte. Die Schweiz verlange weiterhin die „bedingungslose Freilassung“ der Missionarin.

Sie war bereits im April 2012 von Islamisten verschleppt worden. Damals kam sie nach Vermittlung durch die Regierung von Burkina Faso nach neun Tagen frei. Die Islamisten liessen sie offenbar unter der Bedingung frei, dass sie nicht in die Wüstenstadt zurückkehre, um zu missionieren.

Das EDA wies am Samstag erneut darauf hin, dass es seit 2009 wegen der hohen Entführungsgefahr von Reisen nach Mali abrät. Die Entführte habe man nach der ersten Entführung auf die hohe persönliche Gefährdung in Mali hingewiesen und ihr von einem weiteren Aufenthalt in Mali nachdrücklich abgeraten.

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